Underdogs were the hot bet last weekend in the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs with all four road teams getting points going on to cover against the spread. Tennessee in the AFC and Atlanta in the NFC each won their game straight-up and the closing line on a total bet stayed UNDER in three of the four games.
Trends such as these are hard to ignore, but the big question on every bettor’s mind heading into this weekend’s Divisional Round is will these early trends favoring the underdog and the UNDER hold up against much stiffer competition?
Saturday, Jan. 13
4:35p.m. (NBC) Atlanta Falcons (-3, 41) at Philadelphia Eagles
The lone anomaly for this week’s betting lines is the Falcons going on the road as three-point favorites. Despite the fact that Philadelphia is the top seed in the NFC after going 13-3 this season, the loss of Carson Wentz at quarterback has basically cleared the decks of this previously packed bandwagon.
The Falcons have not been kind to bettors on the road this season at 3-6 ATS in nine previous road games and the Eagles were able to post a 5-3 mark ATS on their home field. Philadelphia has the clear edge in this series at 9-4 SU in the last 13 meetings and it has won seven of its last eight home games against Atlanta. The total has stayed UNDER in nine of the last 12 meetings in this NFC clash.
8:15 p.m. (CBS) Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-13.5, 47)
The Titans were able to erase an 18-point deficit against Kansas City last Saturday to pull off a 22-21 upset as 8.5-point road underdogs. New England has never been known as a team to blow a lead, but it has erased a few in its day to pull off some incredible come-from-behind victories.
The clock might be sounding midnight for Tennessee with a SU five-game losing streak against New England while failing to cover in five of the last six meetings. The Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games against the Titans and the total has gone OVER in six of the last seven meetings in Foxborough.
Sunday, Jan. 14
1:05 p.m. (CBS) Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5, 41)
In the first of two rematches on Sunday’s NFL playoff slate, Jacksonville will look to recreate the formula that led to a lopsided 30-9 road victory against the Steelers as a 7.5-point underdog back in early October. The spread is the same this time around with the general betting consensus leaning towards Pittsburgh covering on a SU win.
The Jaguars have been able to cover in 12 of their last 17 games against the Steelers. When it comes to the last five matchups played in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville owns a 4-1 advantage both SU and ATS. The total stayed UNDER 41 points in that Week 5 matchup and it has stayed UNDER in the last three meetings.
4:40 p.m. (FOX) New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-4, 45.5)
The Saints opened their regular season with a 29-19 loss to Minnesota as three-point road underdogs as part of a 0-2 start both SU and ATS. They quickly turned things around to win the NFC South at 11-5. The Vikings went on to win 13 of their 16 regular season games while posting a profitable 11-5 record ATS. They covered in six of eight home games this season.
The favorite in this NFC tilt has covered ATS in the last four meetings and the total has gone OVER in seven of the last nine games. New Orleans is 2-4 ATS in its last six road games against the Vikings.